Friday Aug 12, 2022
Friday Aug 12, 2022

Melamchi flood victims have nowhere to go

2021 Aug 01, 16:48, Melamchi
Local residents are seen carrying their belongings to a safer place in Melamchi Bazaar of Melamchi Municipality-11 in Sindhupalchowk district, on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Photo: RSS

Twenty-seven houses and farms worth millions have been washed away by the Melamchi River. The flood victims of Helambu and Melamchi, who were gradually returning to normalcy, have been displaced again.

Asha Lama of Helmu-1 says, "We were staying in a hostel but we are not safe here as well. The only question, 'where to stay now'?"

The houses of 90 families like her have been completely damaged by the landslide on June 20 and have taken shelter in tents.

Saraswati Magar of Helambu complains that it is difficult to live in a tent due to the sun and rain.

People of Melamchi Bazaar have the same pain. Some had cleared their homes and shops, but have returned to safety after Saturday's flood. The flood have washed away 20 houses in Helambu and Melamchi. According to Rajan Adhikari, Superintendent of Police at the District Police Office, total of 20 houses were washed away and three houses were submerged.

According to him, the houses that were flooded on July 20 have been swept away by last night's flood but thankfully those houses were empty. The flood has washed away the red bridge of Chanaute. According to a local, the bridge collapsed at 7:45 pm. This was the only alternative bridge connecting many wards of Helambu. As soon as the bridge collapsed, the movement of vehicles in the area has stopped.

Similarly, a suspension bridge of Gyalthum has been washed away. The flood has also washed away the kitchen of Talamarang Police Post. At present, 40 houses in Gyalthum are at risk. 

Mayor Dambar Aryal informed that vehicles could not reach Helambu from Melamchi due to landslides at various places on the Helambu Highway.

The market people are agitated. Residents of Melamchi Bazaar are saying that the municipality is not interested in controlling the river and protecting the settlement. On Sunday, they chanted slogans saying the mayor and officials were reluctant to protect the locals. Sagar Shrestha, leader of the local flood-affected and Melamchi Reconstruction Committee, said that the city representatives have not come to their damaged settlements since the day of the flood.

Village Municipality Chairperson, Nima Galgen Sherpa, who returned to Kathmandu after monitoring the flood-hit area by helicopter, said that there was no immediate risk of landslides.

He said that there are no alternative to relocate the residents of Melamchi corridor to safer places immediately. The flow from Ledo Bhimthang is continuing. 'I am trying to find an alternative settlement and have already informed the Home Minister about the situation. I will also meet the prime minister and inform him," he said, adding that the government should send experts to investigate the landslide.

Home Minister Bal Krishna Khan has directed to send a team of experts to Bhremathang, the source of the landslide, to study the severe floods and landslides in the Melamchi River.

According to Bagmati State Assembly member Nima Lama, the Home Minister has instructed the Chief Executive Officer of the National Disaster Management Reduction and Management Authority, Anil Pokharel, to reach the site of the landslide and study the situation there.

The extension bridge in Chanaute will be constructed immediately which connects Helambu village municipality with the road network. 

Nepali Congress leader and former communications minister Mohan Bahadur Basnet said that an initiative would be taken for the construction of the bridge with the support of the Government of Nepal with the objective of facilitating immediate movement. Stating that the Prime Minister and the Home Minister have been informed about the damage caused by the floods, he expressed his commitment to start the construction of the bridge immediately.


Melamchi river flood Victims landslide
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